Andrew Neil eviscerates Macron over claims he is ‘seething Brexit didn’t collapse UK’
France: Expert criticises Macron’s vaccine response
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The veteran broadcaster has supported an argument put forward by a leading French historian, who insists Mr Macron is angry the UK has not crumbled outside of the European Union. John Keiger, Professor of French History at the University of Cambridge, added the French President is “consumed with jealousy at Britain’s vaccination roll-out”.
Responding on Twitter to the article in The Spectator, Mr Neil wrote: “All of this is true re Macron. Unnecessary and self-defeating. We should be allies.
“Last week he weaponised 3 cabinet ministers to take to the airwaves to rubbish Britain.
“One was positively gleeful claiming we’d run out of 2nd doses this month [untrue].”
Mr Macron has been a fierce critic of the UK and played a key role in driving Brexit trade negotiations to the 11th hour last December.
More recently, Mr Macron has defied scientific experts and European regulators over the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The 43-year-old has previously branded the life-saving jab “quasi-ineffective” and made a series of U-turns over its use – undermining the confidence of the French people and risking lives.
Brexit Britain has continued to thrive outside of the bloc and has administered more than 36 million coronavirus vaccinations.
Meanwhile, France has administered just over 12 million doses and has been plunged into a third lockdown.
Mr Keiger described the situation across the Channel as humiliating and points out Mr Macron is doing everything possible to undermine the UK’s successful vaccine programme.
Mr Keiger wrote: “He is seething at Britain not collapsing after Brexit, consumed with jealousy at Britain’s vaccination roll-out and bitter at Britain’s early discovery of a vaccine, while France suffers humiliation, not least among her own media, as the only permanent member of the UN Security Council not to have invented one.
“It is instructive how Macron’s speeches, to the point of circumlocution, avoid citing Britain when referring to examples of successful vaccination.
“His lieutenants, like the junior Europe minister, however, show no restraint in spilling the dirt.
“With AstraZeneca as the trope embodying vaccine and post-Brexit success, it cannot be seen to triumph.”
Mr Macron announced France will enter a third national lockdown during a speech on Wednesday.
During the televised address, the French President took a swipe at the UK and mentioned the Kent COVID-19 variant as a cause for the new wave of the epidemic.
He said: “These last few weeks, we are faced with a new situation. In fact, from the first days of the month, we are now in a race.
“On one hand with the deployment of vaccinations which we’re [hoping we will] be able to get out us of the crisis and I’ll come back to that. And then secondly propagation throughout Europe of a new variant.
“This variant which was identified for the first time from our British neighbours at the end of last year.
“And to a certain extent, of course, gave rise to an epidemic within the epidemic and that is greater than last spring.
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“So, therefore, there’s no metropolitan region that now has been saved from it and it’s also more dangerous than in the autumn so it means that the virus is [not only] more contagious but also can kill.
“In fact, intensive care services are now having to deal with people who are healthy.”
For the next four weeks, schools and non-essential businesses across France will remain shut.
Hospital admissions continue to rise and on Saturday there was 5,273 people being treated in intensive care units – a rise of 19 from the previous day.
On Friday, the number of patients had risen by 145 – the biggest one-day increase for five months.
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